One of my favourite biannual events in Sydney is the Crows Nest Fine Music 102 Book and CD Fair. Hosted by the Fine Music FM radio station, every year it gains in popularity, so that in 2014 the event lasts for a full eleven days.
The Book Fair runs twice a year, and you can sign up to the newsletter to keep up with the dates.
The first of the two annual fairs began on January 16th this year, and will run until January 27th, opening from 9:00am to 6:00pm every day. The Fair is held at the Crows Nest Centre at 2 Ernest Place (near the park on Willoughby Road), and is hard to miss with the numerous signs and balloons advertising the event.
Books, books and more books.
Selling second-hand and vintage books, CD's, DVD's and sheet music that the radio station has collected through donations, it is easy to find a great bargain. The entire room is organised and well-signed by book genre. Whether you're interested in children's books, history and biography, cooking or general fiction; it's easy to make your way straight to the section most likely to interest you. Otherwise, you can easily fill in an hour just browsing.
It is always held at the Crows Nest Centre
There are also a number of vintage and collectible books for those who are after something a little more special. Again, this section is clearly signed, so you will be able to find it easily.
Vintage and collectible books make for extra special finds
For those who aren't as interested in reading, there are also a number of second-hand DVD's (including both movies and entire seasons of television shows) and CD's (mostly classical). The selection of DVD's is quite small, but the CD's come close to meeting the books in numbers.
They also sell a huge number of CD's
Because everything is second-hand, you won't find yourself paying huge prices for anything. The last time I visited, I bought two books for $5.00 each, and a DVD for $3.00. In past years, the most I have paid is $12.00 for a large, full-colour coffee table full of ballet photography. Generally, the fiction books seem to range from $5.00-$8.00, with non-fiction coloured ones costing just a little more.
You'll find bargain DVD's there too
If you want even more of a bargain though, head there on Sunday the 26th or Monday the 27th when all books will be half price.
Tables are clearly signed by genre, so you can search for your favourites straight away.
To get there, you can catch one of the buses which stop on Willoughby Street. Or if you choose to drive, there is a carpark on nearby Holtermann Street which offers up two hours free parking (it can be difficult to get a park later in the days on weekends though), or use the metered parking on any of the nearby streets.
A collection of vintage Anne of Green Gables books are just an example of what you'll find
If, like me, you're a book lover, or you're just looking for a cost-effective way to fill in a few hours; then definitely make a visit to the Book Fair. And if you find you love it as much as I always do, you can sign up for the Book Fair newsletter. That way you'll never miss it when it comes around again.
The Book Fair is a cause to celebrate
You'll almost certainly find something to make you smile
Where: Crows Nest Centre, 2 Ernest Place, Crows Nest.
Why: Because everything is a bargain
Cost: Free entry, items start from about $3.00
When: Jan 16 - Jan 27 2014, 9:00am-6:00pm.
Good for kids: Yes, there's a large section of kids and teen books.